It’s been just about 3 weeks since we moved into our new apartment! Click here to see a tour of the empty space before we moved in.
We’re definitely taking our time with this new place – something that feels just a little rebellious when we know we’re renting and likely won’t be here but a couple of years, if that. But I want our space to feel peaceful and special, and there is no rushing that. We’re also collecting pieces for our future home, so I don’t mind taking my time with that and investing in things we love.
While just about everything is unpacked, I’ve just begun hanging the first few things on the walls in the living room. And truth be told, I wish I’d have done this right when we moved in. It makes such a difference!
The living in our new place is so large and defined compared to our last place, so I’ve been playing with different layouts and seeing what works. I still haven’t decided on anything specific yet, but I am loving having our couches in the center of the room. Whenever possible, I prefer all (or at least some) furniture to be off of the walls because this makes a room feel more elevated and conversations more natural.
For now, we have two couches facing each other. One used to be in my office and they definitely don’t look amazing together. But until we replace them, it’s been a cozy set-up. The longer grey couch was one of the first pieces of furniture Seth and I bought before our wedding. I think we spent maybe $200 on it and were so proud! It’s held up well the last few years but will need to be replaced soon. I’d love to stick with a warm grey for the couch and have two soft white armchairs across from it. I’ve also toyed with the idea of doing a bit of pattern mixing and going for a beige and cream stripe for the chairs rather than solid white. This would look fantastic with our rug from McGee & Co.
This wall is so long and has been quite interesting to design. Originally, I was planning on putting the couch against this wall; but it didn’t work well with any of our other pieces. And I really wanted the furniture in the center of the room if possible. So, I hopped on Facebook Marketplace to find a sideboard or credenza that would be more to-scale than the MCM (Mid-century-modern) media cabinet we had in our old place. This piece was one of the first listings I found, and I absolutely loved it. The federalist style with straight legs and subtle detailing is my very favorite for antique furniture at the moment. Unfortunately, it was in Maryland and I was hopeful I could find something a bit closer.
After a few weeks of checking daily, nothing was quite as perfect as this, and it was an amazing deal. This style of antique sideboard regularly sells for $1,000 – $3,500, and they were asking for a fraction of that. So, with just a smidge of insanity, I drove the 10 hours to Maryland and back to pick it up. And I’m so glad I did! I’m planning on repaint it black and paint the hardware back to gold. The two cabinets on either side will be perfect for holding the game systems once I add holes in the back. (the back panel is not original, so I don’t mind doing this)
I so look forward to the day we have a basement or game room where the TV go and be out of site. But we live in a small apartment so that simply isn’t reasonable. We toyed with the idea of putting the TV in our bedroom; but ultimately decided to try and come up with a way to have it in the living room without being the focal point of the space. My current thought is to replace it with a Frame TV (they regularly have amazing sales on these) or to attempt a DIY Frame TV like Cass Makes Home did here.
The corner by the window is currently home to frames and art waiting to be hung, but I’d love to add a faux olive or Ficus Benjamina here soon! I’m waiting to see if I can find a live plant on Facebook marketplace, but am not against a convincing faux tree.
These shelves from Ikea are such a steal. They’re place holders for the time being and will be moved back to the office where they originally were and replaced with a couple of bookcases. I’m considering these at the moment.
The wall to the left of the couch is my next project. I’ve been in between a symmetrical gallery wall with vintage botanical prints or mixing and matching frames and art. I think mixing and matching would be a high visual impact, but it may feel a bit busy in this space. At this point, I’m leaning towards vintage botanicals (maybe these, these, or these) and trying to include mixed and matched vintage frames somewhere else.
As I think through all of these decisions, down to the small details which I haven’t even gotten to yet, I find it helpful to have a mood board to work off of. These inspire colors, textiles, and also the feeling I’m attempting to evoke in this room. Here’s my mood board for this space:
And there it is – our living room thus far! There is so much I love, and so much I’m excited to continue working on. I think it will be so fun to see it come together in the following months; and I must admit it makes me all the more exited to have a home of our own someday where we can more fully design to our taste. But for now, I’m grateful for such a darling apartment with charm and the challenge of making it feel like home!